High Cs and Wagner

Wagner wrote four high Cs for his heldentenor protagonists.
  • Siegfried, in his first entrance in the opera Siegfried, runs in tugging along a large bear on a leash to greet Mime. In the course of his display of strength and courage, Siegfried sings a cadenza, which includes a held fortissimo high C.
  • In Götterdämmerung's second act Siegfried, after the oath on the spear scene wherein he contests Brünnhilde's story, in bidding goodbye to the vassals, to Hagen, to Gunther and Gutrune, implies Brünnhilde is a bit batty and sings a high C to give closure to this scene's total theatrical aspect.
  • In act three of Götterdämmerung Siegfried greets Hagen and the vassals with another high C.
  • In Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Stolzing is surprised at the appearance of the Nightwatchman and screams out a high C (Wagner indicates Schrei in the score), in stunned surprise.
François Nouvion

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